Filmmaker: ‘Don’t Try To Conquer The World’ With Your First Nonprofit Video

Is your nonprofit embarking on its first video project? Check out these tips from the founder of Green Living Project, a multimedia production company that has produced more than 100 films in 25 countries.

Rob Holmes

Founder + Chief Strategist, Green Living Project

Who He Is:

Rob Holmes leads a multimedia production company that makes short-films about important issues and shares them with the world. Green Living Project has produced more than 100 films across 25 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and North America.

Q: Why is video an important tool for nonprofits?

A: We are in a busy, multimedia world and ultimately video is an opportunity to enhance the consumer experience. Studies have shown that consumers remember a product or service after seeing a story.

Q: What advice would you give to a nonprofit professional who is managing his first video production project?

A: I think one of the most important first things you need to do is identify what are your goals in upfront in creating a video or film. What do you want to do with it? Knowing your objectives is really going to be helpful. Keep it simple. People try to conquer the world when creating videos. Really try to focus on simple things. You’ll see that our general duration—at least for the Web and even for television—is about three to 10 minutes. Don’t try to tell everything to people. In my opinion, you want to tempt people to want to learn more, to visit your website, to come to your store, to come to your location, to connect with your employees or your staff.

Q: What’s important for nonprofits to keep in mind during the goal-setting process for video?

A: You want it to be in my opinion a personal reflection of your organization. You want it to be engaging. You want people to be inspired after they see your story. It’s a matter of looking at your history, your staff, your location, people that you collaborate with, suppliers, partners, customers. Your challenges. Be up front. Be direct with people. You’re not perfect. No one is perfect. People really appreciate honest storytelling. What makes your product unique? What’s the passion behind the work that you do? That is the most important element that needs to come out of your story. How do you find the passion? One simple thing is just to sit and watch one day the work going on. Sit and observe, and I think you’d see where the passion comes.

Q: Share some tips for nonprofits with limited resources to invest in video production.

A: We try to encourage people to leverage their contacts. Reach out to people. Talk to people. See if there is a brand or company out there that likes the work that you do. See if they can help provide some equipment, especially product companies. Product is pretty easy to get compared to cash. Leverage your connections!

Featured Photo: Hot Sun Foundation transforms lives through film.

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